Mommy Katie: January 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

#Giveaway Show Your Fur Babies Love with Petcurean

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Petcurean through a campaign managed by their PR. All opinions are my own. 



Over the past few months we have changed our dog Chloe's food to the Now Fresh Senior. With this change we have found that Chloe, even in her old age, has found a bit more pep to her step. We have also seen a difference in her weight, which has been good since she has lost a few pounds since we changed her diet. We also like that when she goes out to play with the kids, she has more energy to chase that ball, run a little further and not get tired out as quickly as she once did.

Well along with adding the Petcurean Now Fresh to our own fur babies diet, we were also very pleased to hear that over this past holiday season, the wonderful people from Petcurean made a $500 donation to our local humane society (you can see the update from my local humane society here: Kitsap Humane Society) With the food donation they sent, they were able to help with keeping the kitties at our local shelter happy with full bellies. Making it so that when I shop for or talk about the Petcurean brand, I not only can be reminded of the difference their grain free dog food has made for our own fur baby, but also the difference the brand has made in their community outreach as well!

And to help with keeping those furry babies in your life happy, the wonderful people from Petcurean would like to give one of my amazing readers a voucher to purchase a bag of the Petcurean pet food!






Valentines Treats from Petcurean

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Petcurean through a campaign managed by their PR. All opinions are my own. 


Valentines Day is coming up and when we think of how we will be celebrating the day and sharing it with those we love, I also like to include our fur babies in the mix as well. We do this by not only giving Valentines to the kids and one another but also by giving our fur babies their own tasty treats and showing them we love them as well. So when we found out about the new Spike line of grain free jerky and snack bars for dogs, we were excited to share them with our fur baby Chloe!


When Chloe's new treats from the Spike line of dog treats arrived, she was very excited to try them out. I was very pleased to see that the Grain Free Venison Jerky, gives Chloe a treat that not only makes her very happy, but also one that is healthy for her as well. In fact, when it comes to the pros that I found with the new Spike treats, I like that with the Grain Free Venison Jerky, Chloe is getting a treat that has ingredients such as the antioxidant rich pumpkin that is also high in beta-carotene. Along with the fresh pumpkin Chloe also gets venison which is a great source of protein and also a good choice to go with when it comes to pets who have any food sensitivities. Then when it comes to the digestive health, this treat contains whole chia seeds which are also a great source of Omega 3's.

Then with the Snack Bar for Dogs with Chicken Meal and Sweet Potato, I like that just like when we are out with the kids, when we have Chloe out with us at the park, she too can enjoy a great on the go snack along with the rest of the family! With the Spike Bar, Chloe can get a great on the go treat that has those Omega oils which help to keep her coat and skin healthy. There are also cranberries that are both high in antioxidants as well as a great source of fiber and Vitamin C. Other ingredients include sweet potatoes which provide beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese and fiber, and DHA to support brain development!

In all making the line of Spike treats for dogs from Petcurean a great selection of treats to go with this Valentines Day! So as you prepare to show your family how much you care this Valentines Day, be sure to include your fur babies and show them you care with treats from the Petcurean line of Spike treats for dogs!!!




Valentines Day Goodies from Nature's Path Organics


With Valentines Day just around the corner, I find that now is the time to find those sweets and goodies that you will share with your loves this year. For me, when it comes to holidays such as Valentines Day I find that I enjoy seeking out the various chocolate products that are out there. I enjoy starting the day with a sweet and delicious breakfast, and if it includes chocolate, well then that makes it that much better. So when I was sent some of the Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter granola mix from Nature's Path Organics, I was excited to add it to this years breakfast menu for Valentines Day!

I like that with the Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter granola mix, I can not only get a delicious and filling granola that I can put in some yogurt for the whole family to enjoy in the morning, but I can also enjoy a delicious chocolate treat to start Valentines Day off right with! I also like that with this mix, I can enjoy and share a treat that is made from whole grains and that is low in sodium. Making the Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter granola from Nature's Path Organics, a great granola to get to share with your family this Valentines Day!!!


Product received, thank you to Nature's Path Organics as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Take Time to Be a Dad Today!


Being a dad is simple really. It is a job that doesn’t come with an instruction manual so you just have to wing it sometimes. But when you boil it down to the basics, it is simple. Be there with and for your kids, treasure your time with them. By spending time with them, you are showing them how important they are to you. Is that it? Of course not. But that is where it all begins.

Every man is capable of being a great dad! Eighty-six percent of dads spend more time with their children today than their own fathers did with them. According to a national survey conducted by the Ad Council, a majority of dads (7 out of 10) also reported that they could use tips on how to be a better parent. But don’t sell yourself short. If you are taking time out of your day and spending time with your kids, you are a good dad. If you plan dates with your kids, you are a good dad. Everything else is just “details.”

Take Po for example. He was able to overcome some unique circumstances because of his relationship with this father. With the love and advice from dad, Po came out on top!



Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.
Every dad ever has, at one point or another, had that sinking fear that he will not be a great dad. That he will mess it up; that he will be a failure. But guess what? That’s all a part of the job; it comes with the territory.

Need some ideas? Visit Fatherhood.gov or here are a few to get you started:
·         Make breakfast, lunch or dinner together.
·         Go on a hike.
·         Read a book together.
·         Collect props from around the house and take pictures of each other.
·         Plan a picnic, even indoors if it is cold.
·         Plan a short road trip.
·         Create a story together and make a book.
·         Play sports together

Get creative! The options are truly limitless.

Help me and others share a message to dads everywhere: Take Time To Be A Dad Today! Visit the Ad Council or Fatherhood.gov for more resources on what you can do to make your time with your kids count!








Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wake Up To Overnight Oats with Nature's Path Organics

January is a month where we seek out ways to eat healthier and follow so we can stick to those resolutions we made on the 1st. To help with keeping those resolutions going and to also help with celebrating Oatmeal Month for the month of January, I was sent some products from Nature's Path Organics along with some recipes to try as well!

I like that with the overnight oats recipes that I was given to try out, I can look forward to a tasty and healthy breakfast in the mornings! You can try these recipes as well by checking out the ones below!


You can find the Coconut Cranberry Overnight Oats with Qi’a™ Pure Oats Oatmeal here: http://us.naturespath.com/recipe/coconut-cranberry-overnight-oats-qiatm-pure-oats-oatmeal



For the Healthy in a Hurry Overnight Oats recipe go here: http://desireerd.com/2015/02/09/healthy-in-a-hurry-blueberry-overnight-oats/



Sweet Pumpkin Overnight Oats (created by Registered Dietitian Ashley Koff)

Ingredients:
Directions:
1.       In a medium bowl, place the pumpkin and stir in the cayenne, cacao, and cinnamon; 
2.       Continue to stir in the hemp and chia seeds until well-combined
3.       Stir in the oats, non-dairy milk, and vanilla (if using)
4.       Separate the mixture into two mason jars
5.       Cover with lids and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 3 hours
6.       Wake up in the morning and enjoy

*Note: if too thick, add a Tablespoon of non-dairy milk and stir; if too mushy you can add an additional tablespoon of chia seeds, stir in, wait 30 minutes before eating.

*Need a stimulant boost: add a shot of espresso (instead of drinking your coffee)





Product received, thank you to Nature's Path Organics as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Banish the Winter Blues With These 5 Beach Getaways


It never fails that as winter sets in on the northern part of the globe that the thoughts of many turn to fantasies of warm, tropical beaches. Delightful images of swaying palm trees and the memory of the sweet bite of a perfect piña colada can cloud judgement and lead to the uncontrollable urge to browse the websites of tropical resorts and perhaps even book a flight.  


If you’re suffering from the winter blues, why fight it? While the winter months are high season in most tropical destinations, that doesn’t always mean that the prices are unaffordable. In fact, right now is the perfect time to travel as the US dollar is reaching record highs in many parts of the world, so your trip might actually save money.  
These are five of the most appealing beachy destinations in the world, any of which would be the perfectwinter getaway. So ditch the coats and gloves, grab your swimsuits and passports, and head off for a well-deserved break from the cold.

1. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Located on the long stretch of Caribbean coastline known as the Riviera Maya, Playadel Carmen is just south of Cancun, which is easily reached by direct flights from all over the United States and some from Europe. This relatively small town is bursting with lively clubs, fantastic Mexican cuisine, and lodging choices from budget hostels to luxury resorts.
The beaches are made up of powdery white sand and the crystal blue waters are perfect for a number of activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, kite surfing, and more. One of the current appeals of Mexico is the strength of the U.S. dollar against the Mexican peso. However, don’t be lured in by the fact that most establishments accept US dollars. Withdraw pesos from a local ATM and pay all hotel charges in pesos. Be sure to take advantage of the shopping options as well. Clothing, souvenirs, and others can be good deals in Mexico. Bring your electronics though, like your e-cigarettes and backup digital memory cards.

2. Bocas del Toro, Panamá

Located on Panama’s Caribbean coast and consisting of an intricate archipelago of islands, Bocas del Toro is laid back, inexpensive, and incredibly beautiful. Easily reached by a short, regional flight from Panama City, Bocas del Toro and its funky vibe has lured travelers from all over the world.
Accommodations are typically mid-range here and generally consist of hostels and guesthouses. However, higher-end resorts are available, and short-term rentals through Airbnb or Home Away are becoming increasingly popular. Hire a boat for a day to visit some of the deserted islands, and keep your eyes out for sloths in the beautiful mangrove trees. 

3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

This island paradise in the Caribbean is under the radar enough that you won’t encounter the crowds that you might in places like Jamaica or the Bahamas, but it still has all of the amenities that you’ll need for a perfect winter getaway. Prices are reasonable and this beautiful island paradise will take your breath away.
Most visitors stay in one of the resorts located in Punta Cana, but staying in Santo Domingo is an option as well. At the very least spend a day exploring Santo Domingo, and be sure to try some of the local dishes, which are an intriguing mash up of African, Spanish, and Middle Eastern flavors.

4. San Juan, Puerto Rico

For those U.S. citizens without a passport, PuertoRico is an attractive destination. This U.S. territory boasts the only tropical rainforest that the United States can call its own, and the history of this island paradise will appeal to many, and its pristine beaches are a huge draw for visitors from all over the world.
San Juan is a charming colonial city and its cuisine is world renowned. Be sure to pay a visit to Mosquito Bay at night to witness the otherworldly bioluminescence, and Flamenco Beach offers camping facilities. Also be sure to visit Camuy River Cave Park for a tour of the underground world.

5. Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia’s torrid past might still put some travelers off, but this country has rebounded in a big way and tourism is booming. Colombia is inexpensive and boasts a vast amount of diversity, but for beach lovers nothing beats Cartagena.
This combination of cosmopolitan city and stunning Caribbean coastline results in an incredible beach vacation. Hire a boat to visit some of the more remote beaches, and be sure that you always save room for the seafood. Colombia’s exquisite touch with food might just have you planning your next visit before you even leave.

The winter blues are a real condition, but they’re easily cured with a quick trip to the tropics. Choose one of these beach locales for your next getaway. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

#Giveaway Keep Your Home Connection Safe with Bitdefender BOX


In my home and in many homes, we have devices that are connected to the internet. From our gaming systems, computers, televisions and phones to our kids tablets, baby monitors and security cameras. We find that we rely on our internet to work properly so we can stream movies, go on social networks and even so we can monitor our homes when we are both at home and on the go. And like many, I want to ensure that the connection we have in our home is safe and secure. So when we were sent the Bitdefender BOX to review, I was excited to set it up and add that extra security we needed so we can ensure that our family is safe when they are online in our home!



We found that with the Bitdefender, we can not only get that peace of mind when it comes to keeping our WiFi connection in the home secure, but we can also keep our devices secure as well. I also like that with the app that we can download to our phones, we can secure our connections with the Private Line.

With the Private Line we can get the security that is needed on our phones and other devices where we can put the app on, when we get on different WiFi hotspots as well. Allowing us to get the security that the Bitdefender offers in the home, when we are out and more vulnerable to viruses and hackers.

When it comes to all we can get with this device, I like that it is not only giving us a peace of mind when we are home, but also the security we need. I like that the Bitdefender helps to keep our WiFi connection safe, keeping hackers from getting into our cameras, gaming consoles, computers and other devices, as well as keeping the viruses from getting into our connection! In fact, with the security that we can get I like that it can help to keep all of our technology safe, even when it comes to the USB drives that the kids share with their friends and use at school, giving us that extra layer of protection that can help to protect my family and our devices!

Then for setting up the Bitdefender BOX, we found it to be very simple. We were able to hook it up to our WiFi router through the LAN port, download the app, then it basically set itself up! Making the Bitdefender BOX a great product to have in any home when it comes to securing your WiFi connections and keeping your tech devices safe! And to help with keeping your families WiFi and tech devices safe, the wonderful people from Bitdefender would like to give one of my readers their own Bitdefender BOX!!!



Product received, thank you to Bitdefender as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

The Devil Wears Prada 10th Anniversary Edition on Blu-Ray

When it comes to finding movies to watch in our home, I like to find both new movies as well as older movies that I have enjoyed in the past. I have found that with movie times, I can enjoy various movies alone, with the kids, with my husband or even with each of my kids individually. So when we were sent the 10th Anniversary Edition of the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, on Blu-Ray to review, I knew that this would be a great movie to share with my daughter!

In this movie you find a girl who is looking to find her place in the world as a writer. She learns that when it comes to being fresh out of college, the job market is not that favorable. And until she has some references that reach further than her local school newspaper, she will not get very far. She soon finds herself in a position to take on a job that is something many would die for, but that she sees as a way to pay her bills and to get a running start in the writing industry.

I saw this movie to be a great one for sharing with my daughter because it shows that you can achieve what you seek out when you set goals. As well as the fact that vanity nor any job that makes you unhappy should not be a decider when it comes to living a happy life and pursing your goals and dreams. You can bring home this movie to watch today when you head out and pick up your copy of, 10th Anniversary Edition of The Devil Wears Prada, on Blu-Ray!



Product received, thank you to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair on DVD



Family movie time is a time where in my house, we all look forward to sharing some of our favorite movies and shows. For my kids, they get excited for our movie night, so that they can contribute their favorites to the mix. So when we were sent Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair on DVD to review, I knew my kids would be voting this as their pick for our family movie night!

In this DVD the kids get to enjoy 5 episodes that have those favorite pups, kittens and alligator from Shelter 17 ready to be adopted! You and your kids can watch as the crew try to get a very adorable puppy and kitten adopted into the same home, then go to trying to find a home for their alligator friend too! Making Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair a must have for the kids!

Episodes Include:
  • Catcalls
  • The Really Weird Dog
  • The Call Of The Squirreldog
  • Kennel Kittens Return
  • Once A Ralph, Always A Ralph

We found that this DVD is perfect for adding to any Pound Puppies collection and also a great collection of episodes to watch on your next family movie night!




Product received, thank you to Shout Factory as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

3 Ways to Create a Fun Nursery

Decorating your nursery and turning it into a fun place to be is a wonderful way to create memories of your first couple years with your baby. Creating a fun place can lift your spirits and create a joyful time! Follow these suggestions below on how to make an amazingly fun room!


Wallpaper
Wallpaper is a sure fire way to instantly add an element of excitement and fun to your nursery. It turns plain walls into little scenes and brings life to your entire room! With the vast amount of variety available in wallpaper, nearly any theme and color scheme is possible. Brighten up your room with some fun wallpaper to match your nursery furniture and watch your nursery transform.


Details, details details!
Forget about some lame Ikea furniture with stark white paint and opt for some furniture with color and intricacy. While plain furniture may look clean cut, it is far from fun and bubbly, and having a fun and bubbly room can definitely lift your mood. In this case, you want to stay in the mindset of ‘it’s the little things.’ Incorporate some luxury baby furniture with maybe a touch of pink paint here, a pop of yellow there, and some stunning knobs and wood detailing on your dressers. The sum of all the little details is sure to create a wondrous and fun room with eye catching intrigue no matter where you look.


Toys!
Nothing says ‘fun’ like toys! Childhood is full of wonderful memories, but especially those of the vast amount of toys! Create a warm and welcoming place by placing your oversized stuffed animals and extra special toys on display. Not every single item has to be tucked away and stored and having some toys out will add a sense of playfulness to the room.


Visit AFK Furniture for all your nursery needs!

Monday, January 18, 2016

#Giveaway Encourage Independent Sitting with Tipsy Baby Sitting Mat


As parents, we are always encouraging and celebrating those milestones when it comes to baby. We encourage them by assisting them, showing them, and having products on hand for baby that can help them with reaching the various milestones. So when I was sent the Tipsy Baby Sitting Mat to review, I was excited to check it out and see how it can help with baby reaching the milestone of sitting up independently! 
One of the first things that I see as a big plus is that with the Tipsy Baby, you get a sitting mat that is portable and perfect for using both in the home and for taking with when you are out with baby! With the buttons that are on the sides, I like that once baby is done using the mat, I can easily fold it up so it can be stored away or taken on the go with me. I also like that with the Tipsy Baby, you can choose from various designs that are available.


Then when it comes to the functionality factor that you can get when you use a Tipsy Baby Sitting Mat, I like that it helps to provide baby with that independence they need so they can learn to sit on their own, as well as safety, so if baby falls over they will not bonk their heads. The design helps to eliminate all of those pillows we as parents like to put around baby as they are building strength and learning to sit up on their own, and gives baby the room they need so if they fall in any direction, they fall on a soft foam surface!

I also can appreciate that when it comes to tummy times and even playtime on the floor, I can use the Tipsy Baby Sitting Mat and put toys out on the mat for baby to reach for! Making the Tipsy Baby Sitting Mat a great product to have in any home with a baby! And to help with your baby when it comes to learning how to sit up on their own, the wonderful people from Tipsy Baby would like to give one of my amazing readers their own Tipsy Baby Sitting Mat!




Product received, thank you to Tipsy Baby  as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Big Game Taco Bar with El Yucateco and Coca-Cola

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScoreOnFlavor #CollectiveBias
It's that time of year again! That time where fans from all over gather to watch the big game, to enjoy good food as they root on their favorite teams. And like many out there, I will be preparing to host guests as we watch the game. To get us geared up for the big game I have decided that having a taco bar available for guests to enjoy, and adding products like the El Yucateco Hot Sauce and Coca-Cola to the mix will help to get the party started.

I have found that with a taco bar, we can have various fixings and meats available, which will make for the perfect selection of food to have when it comes to those plates that are quick and easy to throw together during commercials and half time!


To get started with my big game taco bar, I headed to the local Mi Pueblo. There I was able to pick up 2 of the El Yucateco Hot Sauces along with 2 1.25 Liter Coca-Cola products so that I could not only use them in the taco bar but also so I could save $2 on my meat or deli order as well!

While at Mi Pueblo, along with the El Yucateco and the Coca-Cola products, I also picked up a variety of meats and fixings, which is the selection that I used in my taco bar.

Shopping list of Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts
1 pound ground beef
1 pound flank steak (fajita meat)
2 bottles El Yucateco Hot Sauce (Chile Habenero)
2 1.25 Liters of Coca-Cola
1 lb sharp cheddar (grated)
1 white onion
1 head lettuce
4 tomatoes
2 packs of mini flour tortillas
3 cans refried beans
2 packs of taco shells (or make your own using corn tortillas and fry them in a bit of oil on stove top)
1 container sour cream
3 packets taco seasoning


To get started with the flank steak and the chicken, chop the steak and chicken in thin portions. I marinated them each in their own bowls with 2 cups of the Coca-Cola (or until meats are covered with Coca-Cola) along with 4 tablespoons in each bowl of the El Yucateco Hot Sauce and mixed well. I ensured both the chicken and steak were covered, then placed in the refrigerator for 2 hours.


Once the meats have been marinated, I then took them out, drain the marinade off the meats, and put each in their own pans on the stove to cook. I also then took the ground beef and began to brown it on stove top. After the ground beef was browned I added about 3-4 tablespoons of the El Yucateco Hot Sauce and 2 tablespoons of Coca-Cola in with the meat and mixed well. I then added a packet of taco seasoning to each of the meats that I was cooking and followed the directions on the taco seasoning packets.

While letting the meats cook, I then got the lettuce, onions, and tomatoes and chopped them up. I also got the tortillas and taco shells, along with the cheese and sour cream and put them out on the bar. I then put each of the meats in their own bowls on the taco bar, then heated up the refried beans in a pan on the stove.



After setting up the taco bar I added some refreshing iced cold Coca-Cola products for guests to drink, and added some of the El Yucateco Hot Sauce to use on the tacos as a sauce! Making our Big Game Taco Bar, the perfect set up to have out when preparing for the big game this year!





Sunday, January 17, 2016

#Giveaway Captive on DVD


When it comes to finding great movies to watch, I enjoy finding ones that are both great for those date night in movies as well as movies I can enjoy during my "me" time. So when we were sent the new movie, Captive, on DVD to review, I was excited to add it to our list of great date night in movies, as well as a great movie that I can watch when I have my alone time.

In the movie Captive, you find two very different people in an amazingly inspiring drama. The man named Brian, is on the run from the police after escaping from the courthouse after he killed several on the court room, and is trying to find a way to be able to see his newborn baby. He then comes across a recently widowed mother who is having issues with drugs, named Ashley, and takes her hostage in her home. The two find that in this not so favorable meeting, they have been put in one another's path so they can learn lessons and in hand save one another's lives.

I found the movie Captive to be a very inspiring movie that not only offers a great story but one that is based on real life events.



Be sure to follow Captive on their social channels:





Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Family Fun with Monster Jam


When it comes to finding things to do with the family, I like to find events and performances to go to that the whole family can enjoy. So when we were given tickets to go and see the trucks, speedsters, and ATV's at the Monster Jam, we were very excited to make it a family fun night for everyone to enjoy!
The kids loved seeing some of their favorite Monster Trucks on the tracks with the drivers racing for the title!

And when it came to a good show to watch, well we got that and so much more when we watched in awe of the tricks that the drivers were able to do and master as they competed in each of the events!


Making Monster Jam a great event to take the whole family to watch and enjoy when the Monster Jam team comes to a town near you!




Thank you to the PR and to Monster Jam for sponsoring this post. Tickets were received in exchange for this review! All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gear Your Little Ones Up With The Snoot From Stride Rite

The colder days are upon us and up here in the PNW, that also means the wetter and colder days are here to stay for a bit. With that said, and me being a mom, I find that come rain or snow, we seem to always find our ways outdoors to play and enjoy our surroundings. And like many parents, when it comes to taking the kids out in the cold wet weather, I find that I like to ensure that they are nice and warm and are covered from head to toe. So when we were sent a pair of the Snoot's from the Stride Rite line of kids shoes, we were not only excited because we were able to pick a pair of the Star Wars Snoots to review, but also because these boots are perfect for the kids to wear out in the cold wet weather!

With the Stride Rite Snoot, we can give the kids the best of both worlds when it comes to sneakers and boots. I mean, they are mixed into one, and allow my preschooler to run and play, splash in cold mud puddles, and race through the trails we go on with his older siblings all while keeping his feet dry and warm.

I also like that when the walkways are icy or when we go up to the snowy slopes, my little guy can continue to run and play and enjoy his time outdoors. He can do so because with the sneaker part of these boots, he gets the flexibility and grips on the bottom that he gets with sneakers. I also like that with the design of the Snoot, my little guy can get a light weight pair of shoes that are perfect for wearing anytime we head out in the cold wet weather!

Then when it comes to the design and color options, we obviously adore the Star Wars design that is available, but along with the Star Wars design, we also like that there are various colors to choose from along with other designs such as the Frozen design. Making the Snoot shoes from the Stride Rite line up a great shoe to go with when you are looking for boots to get your little ones to wear in the cold and even wet weather this winter!



Product received, thank you to Stride Rite as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates: The Great Neversea Conquest! on DVD


Yo Ho! It's time to get your little pirate fans and set up a family movie night when you bring home the DVD, Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates: The Great Never Sea Conquest! to share today. With this DVD you find Captain Jake as he takes on the Never Land Seas and comes across the mer-witch Ezmeralda.



Captain Jake must go head to head with Ezmeralda as she tries to take over the Never Sea. While trying to keep Ezmeralda from taking over, they come across Lord Fathom and find that Jake and his crew of Never Land Pirates must team up with other pirates and create the Never Land League of Pirate Captains!

We found this DVD to be perfect for not only adding to our family movie night, but also a great DVD to get for the Jake and the Never Land Pirates fan in your life!






Product received, thank you to Disney as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Harlem Globetrotters - 90th Anniversary Tour


Celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to an arena near you during their 90th Anniversary World Tour. On the court, the Globetrotters' 90-year celebration will feature some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet. With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm - plus female stars TNT Maddox and Sweet J Ekworomadu* - the Globetrotters' one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Every game will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction. You won't want your family to miss it - use promo code FAMFUN to save 25% off your tickets.

25% off Harlem Globetrotters 90th Anniversary World Tour - The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to an arena near you during their 90th Anniversary World Tour. You won't want your family to miss it - use promo code FAMFUN to save 25% off your tickets.
http://harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets


Other Globetrotter Game Promotions
1. http://www.usfamilyguide.com/moms-connect/blogpromos.php?promoid=905
Erie, PA 1/28/16
Ithaca, NY 2/2/16
Frostburg, MD 3/7/16
Bangor, ME 3/15/16
Augusta, ME 3/16/16

2. http://www.usfamilyguide.com/moms-connect/blogpromos.php?promoid=919
Connecticut- Hartford, Uncasville, Bridgeport, Danbury
Delaware - Newark
Michigan - Grand Rapids, Yspilanti - these are soon though (GR is 1/24 and Yspilanti is 1/22)
New Hampshire- Manchester
New Jersey - Toms River, Lincroft, Trenton, Atlantic City
New York - Lake Placid
Oklahoma - Oklahoma City
Pennsylvania - Reading, Wilkes Barre, Allentown, Indiana
Vermont- Burlington

3. http://www.usfamilyguide.com/moms-connect/blogpromos.php?promoid=910
Poplar Bluff, MO - 1/19/2016
Kalamazoo, MI - 1/21/2016
Flint, MI - 1/25/2016
Corpus Christi, TX - 1/27/2016
Rochester, NY - 1/31/2016 and 2/6/2016
Albany, NY - 2/7/2016
Kent, WA - 2/12/2016 and 2/15/2016
Seattle, WA - 2/13/2016
Everett, WA - 2/14/2016
Yakima, WA - 2/17/2016
Eugene, OR - 2/18/2016
Kennewick, WA - 2/21/2016
Pullman, WA - 2/23/2016
Wenatchee, WA - 2/24/2016
Casper, WY - 3/8/2016
Duluth, MN - 3/24/2016
Minneapolis, MN - 3/25/2016 and 3/26/2016
Lincoln, NE - 4/9/2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

Top 5 Baby Care Essentials For A Newborn


You always had your eyes on those incredibly cute onesies and teeny-tiny socks with little animal prints. Or just everything related babies? Even if it’s a nail-cutter, it’s mere size is fascinating and simply charming. Many soon-to-be-moms absolutely love the shopping part even before the baby is due! They stock up and go window shopping and relish every moment done in preparation to welcome the newcomer. With advice coming in from all directions, be it you moms, concerned neighbors and the entire relatives squad! But while they’re out there pouring suggestions, we’ll help you strike few essentials off the list.

1. Sanitation needs: This is quite a list as your baby needs all the gentle and tender care in the world. You just can’t use your shampoo and soap on him as the chemicals used in them can prove to be quite harsh. Hence, enter baby products. Buy baby oil, wipes, shampoo, soap and everything else. The list might be long but don’t let that stress you out! You can use Firstcry coupons and get great deals and offers.

2. Apart from the usual sanitary products, you need to buy a baby tub which is safe and prevents slipping and is portable. You’ll also need a soft brush and wide toothed comb which is easy on the scalp. Having a pair of baby friendly scissors and nail-cutter also comes handy.

3. Skin care is extremely essential as their skin is sensitive and even the slightest use of a chemical can trigger infection or irritation. Before buying skincare lotions and products, consult a doctor and be extra careful before experimenting. Also, the all-time all-age petroleum jelly can be useful for some moisturizing and skincare. It can also be used to prevent diaper rash.

4. Medicines like the other essentials are quite different for babies but nevertheless just as important. Some medicines and medical aids are an absolute must-haves in order to tackle emergency. These include hydrogen peroxide, alcohol wipes, bandages, adhesive tapes, heating pad and nasal aspirator to name a few.


5. Last but not the least, bay furniture! While you’re busy baby proofing the sharp edges of tables and electric sockets, don’t forget to buy them their own set. Today, the wide range of baby needs furniture is simply amazing and helps the baby in every phase of his growth. You could consider options like pram, crib, highchairs, etc. Oh! The possibilities! What are you waiting for? Start filling your cart already.


Making a Sleep Resolution with ZzzQuil

Compensation was provided by Vicks. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Vicks.

Here we are in the second week of 2016, and like many others I am on a mission to keep those New Year’s Resolutions I made on the first. I find that when it comes to the resolutions we make, we make them so that we can make it a goal to improve our health and wellbeing in most cases. And with 2016 upon us, I find that the first few weeks or so of the New Year is the most crucial when it comes to our resolutions. So to help me with my resolution of being more organized and finding ways to get healthier, I was sent a great pack of goodies to try and use from ZzzQuil!

See when it comes to both finding ways to be more organized as well as improving my health, I find that sleep plays a very important role in both. I find that in order to be more productive, organized and achieve more during the day, sleep is very crucial. When I get enough sleep I have more energy and I am more alert during the day, which in hand helps me to concentrate and remember to get the things done that need to be taken care of each day. I also find that along with sleep, having a great planner on hand can also help to remind me of important dates and when things need to get done. And when I use the non-habit forming ZzzQuil at night, I can get the sleep I need and wake up refreshed and ready to take on my days in the morning.

Then along with having a clearer mindset during the day when I get more sleep, I also find that when I get more sleep I have more energy. This energy can then be put into exercising as well as having more of a sharp mindset when it comes to making better choices like with food and such!

So as you seek out those ways that can help you with keeping your resolutions, be sure to include sleep in the mix with ZzzQuil so that you can get the sleep your body needs! 

Click here for a coupon to help get your 2016 sleep resolutions on track and check out @ZzzQuil on Instagram!




My New Year’s Resolution: Keeping America’s Children Safe and Secure on the Road


By: Ryan Hawker, Safety 1st Child Passenger Safety Technician and Car Seat Safety Expert

While another year has passed, it’s important to check on what’s most important in 2016: your precious back seat cargo. If you haven’t taken a once over to make sure no hazardous items are laying around your car, or that your car seat is as snug as can be, it’s a good time to do that. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure your kids are as safe as can be in the back seat.

Don’t Turn Them Around

Keep your child rear facing as long as possible! According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention, children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that children remain rear facing as long as allowed by your car seat’s height, weight and other criteria.
If you have an older child, boosters are extremely important. Most states require a child to be in a booster until 8 years old, as they have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injury by 45%, according to Safe Kids.

Car Seat Installation 1 o 1

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly. Are you one of those parents? If you are not sure, check! Remember, every car and car seat has different requirements for safe installation, so it’s important to read both the car seat and car manual.

When installing, use either the LATCH or the seat belt. Do not use both! The seat belt is a very effective way to install a car seat but LATCH was developed to provide another option for parents that find it challenging to properly install a child restraint with the seat belt. Once you have the car seat installed make sure it does not move more than one-inch side to side. If you are still unsure if you’ve done it right, check in with a local Child Passenger Safety Technician before you hit the road.

You can visit a local police station, fire station, AAA office or Safe Kids Chapter for guidance. Or simply go to seatcheck.org orhttp://www.safekids.org/events/field_type/check-event.

Securing Your Child

This may seem like a no-brainer. However, during the winter months, securing your child can be a little trickier. Often, parents strap their children in with their bulky winter coats still on. However, a new crash test that aired on the Today Show demonstrated how a secure dummy (meant to represent a small child) went hurtling out of a car seat because the winter jacket obstructed it from being fastened securely.

It’s recommended that you remove the child’s jacket before securing him or her. If you’re worried about the child being too cold, turn up the heat and, once buckled, put a blanket over the car seat. It may seem like a hassle, but it’s an extra step that can save a life. 

Car Seats do Expire

It’s something you rarely think about, but car seats expire! You can find the expiration date on the back or the side of the car seat. Additionally, if a car seat has been in a crash you should not use it. Plastic can warp, materials can fray and the car seat will not protect a child correctly. This also means that you should avoid used car seats. The history of a car seat tells a lot about its ability to protect on the road ahead. If you don’t know where it has been, you don’t know if it can protect your child.

To recycle a car seat, check with your local waste management facility to see if they recycle number 5 plastic. 

Lead by Example

Children don’t always do what they’re told but they often mimic what they observe. According to Safe Ride 4 Kids, almost 40% of children riding in vehicles with unbelted drivers were not wearing belt restraints at the time of an accident. Set a good example and always use your seatbelt.

Also never text while driving! Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded (Distraction.gov)! Always put your purse, wallet and/or phone on the floor in front of your baby. Not only will it prevent you from using it while in the vehicle with your child, but you’ll never forget to leave the baby in the car.